Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lost Realizations

Having watched a solid three hours of Lost last night (the hour-long recap show, and the two-hour season premiere), I've made some discoveries about the show on a sort of meta level. Here they are, in convenient bullet list form.

  • Lost is now hardcore sci-fi, but probably always was. It seems now that the show is all about time travel, but I think there were consistent, strong hints throughout the previous four seasons that this is the case. Just the fact that four entire seasons only equaled 108 days never quite sat right with a lot of fans, and I think actually pointed to the fact that time functions differently on the island than in the rest of the world. And last season's introduction of quantum physicist Daniel Faraday (Jeremy Davies, who apparently has a contract with all of Hollywood to only play neurotic eggheads, a la Jeff Goldblum) was further confirmation. In TV land, quantum physics ALWAYS means freaky supernatural hijinks, as opposed to, like, the really dry study of physical systems.
  • There are only "A MILLION UNANSWERED QUESTIONS" if you are completely idiotic about the way that TV storytelling works. That is, when there is heavy-handed foreshadowing, or ridiculously portentous dialogue, the savvy viewer knows how to make pretty good educated guesses. Like last night, in the first hour, producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse said something along the lines of, "Sun thinks Jin is dead because she saw him on the freighter that blew up." THIS MEANS JIN IS ALIVE. It should not be an "unanswered question." Same goes for Jack asking Ben if Locke is really dead, and Ben's non-answer. LOCKE IS NOT DEAD. So scratch those off your lists, annoying fans.
  • There is too much Hurley. The producers called him "the heart of the show," which I guess is what you have to say about less-attractive but intermittently-amusing characters. But I really didn't need all that time in hour two of the premiere to be spent on Hurley and his father, Cheech, bumbling around trying to figure out what to do with comatose Sayid. It's annoying and does little to further the plot, which really is what interests me now. That and Sawyer's inability to find a shirt.
  • The time travel thing is kind of unsustainable. It was cool for the first two hours, but if the rest of the season is spent sending the islanders hopping, skipping, and jumping through time, it's going to become kind of a headache. I suspect that a lot of plot lines will start getting tied up at a much faster pace this season than in seasons past.
Anyone else out there have a Lost breakthrough?? Share. That, or talk about how Benjamin Button really isn't that amazing and why did it get infinity Oscar nominations?!?


Rebecca said...

Okay, so I don't watch Lost, but I did see Ben Button and want to talk about that because, HELLO overrated. All those nominations! For garbage!

As a NOLA resident, I've hated this movie since it was shot here because the shooting was always fucking up traffic and it seemed like it took years to shoot. But having seen the movie, I understand. Whoever edited it needs a good smack in the head. The movie was just too long, with little payoff.

And why didn't anyone really comment about how weird it was that not only is he aging backwards, but that he is a white boy being raised by a black woman? I realize that now we are in the Age of Obama and past all that, but hello, this was the deep South. People are still really racist here today.

Finally, I HATED the Katrina framework. It didn't mesh with the movie. This is supposed to be about the charmed life of this odd dude and bringing in the real world just ruined that. And more personally, I felt that it was cheap and unnecessary and exploitative. It made me really mad.

Well I had alot to say about this

Vivian said...

Yeah, agree that Benjamin Button was not worthy of Oscar nom. Here are two comments from me and Stephen (not w/in the same conversation).

Mine: - Benjamin Button, while enjoyable, is unnecessarily long. It is the type of movie that is impossible to be "bad" because it is constructed as an epic. I cried a couple of times at the end, but while doing so, was aware that it was sort of a manipulated emotion--I mean, of course after spending ~3 hours with a cinema protagonist, his inevitable death is going to be sad. The quality of the film itself had not actually EARNED my tears. (There were a number of points during the movie where I literally thought, "This film is mediocre" and Stephen said he had the same exact phrase pop into his head.) The movie rests upon the strength of an extremely intriguing story and tried-and-true narrative format, while totally half-a**ing it as far as execution.

Stephen's: I didn't think that Benjamin Button was a bad movie, but it's sort of bullshit that it was actually nominated for best picture. in terms of big studio releases, I thought The Dark Knight and Wall-E were both way, way better...

Ultimate thesis: We are in a de/recession so while the idea of impending doom (i.e. death) is on our minds, we still want to go with the relief of an uplifting "journey." The story is apparently much darker.

J.J. said...

this show is still on?

Phillip said...

I witnessed the Lost smorgasbord the other night and what infuriated me the most was the complete saturation of commercials. There was 5-8 minutes of show until the inevitable swell of slide trombones to the iconic blackout before hearing 2-3 minutes of how I need a new car, drugs that cause more problems than they correct, and feminine product that I do not need (I’m a guy and I think they should go the way of cigarette commercials...discusting).

In actuality the 2 hour season premier was really 1 and 1/2 hours. The biggest pox on JJ Abrams, Jeff Lieber & Damon Lindelof and all the sellouts at ABC!

Jeanette said...

Apparently the only thing that would piss off commentor's more would be if there were a brand of panty liners called Benjamin's Buttons that were advertised for during Lost.

Also, Rebecca, re: the raised by a black family thing...I believe the point of that was to further point out the intolerance of whitey in the self respecting white family would raise such a freakish baby. Just like how no self respecting person should see this movieBWAHAHA.

Jeanette's Mother said...

re Ben Button: it is overrated, not worthy of a best picture nomination, and CERTAINLY not worthy of a win. I also thought the Katrina framework did not work, although I liked the image of the water flooding the clock storage at the end. I'm going to read the short story and see if my opinion changes.